Maybe your family members get together for a whole family gathering every year, multiple times a year, or you have relatives that you only see once every few years. Regardless, a family reunion is a perfect way to grow your family bonds and spend some quality time with your extended family. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.
A family reunion is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the love, bond, and family history that your family shares while getting to know each other better and, hopefully, make fun new memories. But not all family reunions are a success.
In fact, some family reunions are downright disastrous. As much as we love our families, when things don’t go to plan, then tensions can rise and cause conflict. The key to making a great family reunion is effective family reunion planning.
Knowing what to think about ahead of time, how to ensure everyone has a good time, and ways to make your family reunion unique can take a mediocre reunion and turn it into the memory of a lifetime, even if you’re dealing with large groups of people.
Here are a few key tips to help you plan a family reunion that everyone will enjoy.
Why You Should Rent a Location
Nothing will cause more unnecessary tension at your family reunion than hosting it at one of your relatives' homes. While it would be lovely if everyone could get along when they are hosting, it can put additional stress on your hosts and lead to resentment and conflict.
The smartest option is to avoid the hotels and go straight for short-term rentals, like vacation homes or condos. Keeping the reunion at a neutral site will mean everyone is equally responsible for the space and can work together with less tension.
Types of Locations To Consider for Family Reunions
For your family reunion to be a complete success, you will need to choose a winning location. You want the location to be somewhere that the older members of your family will be able to travel to without much trouble while also being a destination that appeals to the younger members of the family.
Choosing a location with good weather and perhaps a beach or pool is great if your family has children who like the outdoors. It can also be smart to choose somewhere that will have temperate weather during your reunion.
You can choose an Airbnb or other online vacation rental as an option, or if your family is particularly outdoorsy, you can even go camping or rent cabins in the woods for your family.
Whatever you do, make sure there is enough room for everyone to exist comfortably and enough potential activities to make everyone happy.
How To Handle Food and Drink at Your Reunion
If your family is like most, there is only one variable that will make or break your family reunion, the food and drink offerings. Everyone needs to eat, and a family reunion is an opportunity for a delicious set of meals and snacks that has options for everyone and helps everyone relax and enjoy their time.
On the other hand, making the wrong choices when it comes to food and drink can cause arguments and invite opportunities for unnecessary conflict. We’re going to break down how to plan the food and drink for your reunion to save money and make sure the whole family enjoys their time.
You have to consider a few areas of food carefully when planning your reunion.
Snacks for Your Family Reunion
You need to have both healthy and unhealthy options for snacking at the family reunion so that everyone has something they will want. Offering easy treats like chips, pretzels, or crackers and cheese can keep costs low at the grocery store when buying snacks.
You should also focus on healthy snacks like grapes or a bowl of fruit and an option like chopped veggies and dip or hummus. Offering healthy snacks will mean that those who want to eat healthier options have the chance, while those who do not have options as well.
Meals for Your Family Reunion
Meals are easily the most expensive portion of your family reunion, next to renting a destination. Eating out or ordering out food may seem like an easy solution, especially if you’re putting the event together last-minute, but this will cost you more out of pocket.
If you are staying at a vacation rental with a kitchen, we strongly recommend that you try to cook at least one or two meals every single day at home to keep costs low. Buying in bulk at the grocery store is a good way to keep things simple.
You can also use your time effectively by preparing meals ahead of time that can be left prepped and chilled, like lasagna. Serving these large family meals will take a few helpful hands in the kitchen and save you money.
Ideas for Drinks at Your Family Reunion
For some families, the food determines the success of the reunion, but for us and many others, the real test is the drinks. Family reunions are supposed to function as a vacation, and no great vacation is complete without the right drinks and cocktails.
The key here is offering a variety of options for both your guests below drinking age and those who choose not to drink alcohol and options for those who want something stronger.
Start by purchasing non-alcoholic beverages, like juices, sodas, and sparkling waters. Think about purchasing enough for these drinks to serve as the only drink for people below drinking age and non-drinkers, as well as enough for mixers for other drinks.
Family Reunion Alcohol Ideas
While the non-alcoholic beverages may be as simple as buying soda and juice, the alcoholic components of your reunion can get a little more complicated. Everyone has their own taste, but the fewer options you need, the more cost-effective your reunion will be.
Make sure to start with beer and wine for your basic drinkers, and then think about cocktails. While you may want to have a full bar, limiting your options to a few basics that everyone in your family loves is a less costly approach.
If you really want to have fun, craft a signature cocktail or two for the reunion. This way, you can plan to serve just two or three drinks for the duration of the reunion, simplifying shopping and bartending.
Have Haus at Your Family Reunion
While no family reunion is complete without a little alcohol, you also don’t want to be too boozed up. If you want to offer cocktail options that are lower ABV so that you can try a few without getting hammered, then Haus is the perfect solution.
Our apéritifs have a lower ABV than hard liquor for a lighter way to drink.
Our apéritifs are crafted in Sonoma, California, using only the finest Chardonnay grapes and grape brandy. We then spice and flavor the mixture with high-quality ingredients to bring a modern twist to the apéritif.
Our apéritifs are a fun addition to any cocktail and can even serve as a substitute for vermouth or any other apéritif a cocktail recipe might call for. By playing around with a few signature flavors like Citrus Flower and New Fashioned, you can create delicious cocktails that the whole family will love.
The final piece of advice we have to help you plan a family reunion is to put a lot of effort into fun activities for your loved ones. A family reunion isn’t a family reunion without any activities, and they’re a fun way to bring together the different generations. Bring games, cards, or plan for group games like a murder mystery or scavenger hunt.
Other ideas include:
- Making t-shirts
- Take family photos
- Family talent shows
- Create a family tree
- Board games
Getting the whole family involved in games together can keep the mood light and fun for everyone at the reunion.
Planning a Family Reunion Takeaways
Planning your next family reunion is never easy, but with the right tools, you can plan a family reunion that everyone will remember for years to come.
The key is to remember the importance of variety and choice for every member of your family. Make sure that your activities, snacks, meals, drinks, and location offer a little something for everyone.
Haus is a great addition to any family reunion and is bound to help you discover creative new cocktails that you and your family will love.
Remember, at the end of the day, the perfect family reunion is about one thing — time with the people you love.